AUBURN – Long-time Auburn University police officer Major Melvin Owens has been named the university’s new executive director of security and public safety.
“President (Jay) Gogue made the appointment based on the recommendation of a security consulting firm, which specifically mentioned Major Owens as the ideal candidate,” said Don Large, AU executive vice president and chief financial officer. “He is extremely well-suited for the task based on his law enforcement background and his experience at Auburn.”
Owens, who reports to the Office of the President, began his career with AU in 1981 as a patrol officer and soon moved into the investigations section. In 1988 he was promoted to captain of auxiliary services and in 1997 he became assistant director of public safety.
“I look forward to working together with everyone to create a safe and secure campus environment,” Owens said. “A college community, where the very ideas of open discussion and freedom are promoted, can be vulnerable, as events across this country have demonstrated.”
Owens coordinates campus security with the Auburn City Police Department and oversees nighttime security. He works with AU areas on their security measures, such as the TigerCard Office, Office of Information Technology, Athletics, Access Control and others.
“Auburn University recognizes the need to provide an atmosphere which contributes to the community’s efforts and concentration on fulfilling its mission in areas of research, instruction and extension,” Owens said. “This can best be accomplished by building collaborative relationships with the entire campus community.”
Owens earned a bachelor’s degree in human resources management from Faulkner University and a master’s degree in criminal justice with a concentration in public administration from the University of Alabama. He is a graduate of the 160th FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va., and he performed additional studies in criminal justice education at the University of Virginia. He is a member of numerous state and national law enforcement associations.